Home/ Industry / Media/  Celebrity weddings the new big draw on streaming platforms

NEW DELHI : Weddings are always grand, but the intrigue around getting a glimpse into the high-stakes world of nuptials of the rich and famous have thrown up an opportunity for over-the-top streaming platforms. And, to get more eyeballs by sharing a piece of a celebrity’s life, they are trying to buy the rights to real-life celebrity weddings.

While Disney+ Hotstar has live streamed actor Hansika Motwane’s wedding, Netflix is all set to go live with Tamil star Nayanthara’s wedding. There are reports of Kiara Advani and Sidharth Malhotra considering selling the rights to their wedding, too.

Media industry experts said viewers are increasingly seeking an emotional connect with personal events instead of fictional programming. It’s also a win-win for celebrities needing social media validation and fan following.

“Indians are captivated by weddings since they are one of the most significant events in a person’s life and a wedding in one’s family is grander than any festival. The craze has only grown with the rise of smartphones linked to social media for sharing and consuming information. A celebrity wedding or a peek into the life of a celebrity has a higher degree of fascination that thrives primarily on the lives of cricket and Bollywood stars ," Manika Juneja, managing partner, Dentsu Creative, said.

Earlier, publications and TV channels bought the content rights, but following the rise of streaming platforms, and the investment that has gone into this category, OTT is becoming the default choice to serve the interests of the audience Juneja said. “Celebrity weddings also offer an opportunity for OTT audiences to indulge in fantasy and escapism. They provide a break from the routine and monotony of everyday life and transport viewers into a world of romance, glamour and luxury, as well as help them pick up fashion and lifestyle trends that they would like to follow," she added.

Juneja’s views were echoed by a senior OTT executive. “Unscripted titles, including those centred on the lives of celebrities or glamorous figures, are finding a draw," he added.

With season II of Indian Matchmaking featuring in Netflix’s Top 10 on TV across 13 countries, Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives season-II making it to the Top 10 in India for four weeks since its August 2022 launch only reflects the trend.

Netflix, which has witnessed increasing interest for shows like Dubai Bling, I Am Georgina from Spain, Selling Sunset, Bling Empire and Love is Blind, is set to air a dating show, IRL - In Real Love, and Nayanthara: Beyond the Fairytale which will feature all the events leading up to the actor’s wedding to filmmaker Vignesh Shivan.

Celebrity weddings, their lives, and lifestyle have had large viewership on digital regardless of the format, Shahir Muneer, founder director at Divo, a Chennai-based music and media firm, said. “Earlier, page 3 coverage on print gave a sneak peek into the lives of those who were spotted at night outs and events. It is an extension of the same," Muneer added.

Multiple leading TV celebrities from southern India have managed brand engagement for their wedding vlogs on YouTube, Instagram, and so on. The revenue generated not just covers their costs, but also makes for a good profit, he added.

Audience expectations have evolved over the years and people now want more than just watching fictional performances of their favourite stars, Mitesh Kothari, co-founder and chief creative officer at digital agency White Rivers Media, pointed out. 

“Connecting at a personal level is what they seek. Big fat weddings have become a craze not just for the celebrities themselves, but also for their fans to witness, even if it is virtually. Every Bollywood fan can relate to the build-up before the wedding, excitement during the events, and the anticipation post that to see all the pictures and videos. The rise in OTT platforms and these lavish weddings are now integrating as a new trend is being set," Kothari said. 

It’s a win-win for all, where the platforms and stars connect with their audience efficiently, and the fans get to witness the event they have been eagerly waiting for. “The valuation of such shows varies widely in crores depending on how much has been spent on the wedding and also on how massive the fan base is," Kothari added.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 30 Mar 2023, 01:03 AM IST
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My Reads Watchlist Feedback Redeem a Gift Card Logout